This track is the second single released by Modest Mouse off there much anticipated Strangers to Ourselves, the first being “Lampshades on Fire”. The American indie rock band’s new album is scheduled to be released on March 3rd. Strangers to Ourselves will be the band’s first studio album in over five years. Their last album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank was released in 2007, which was for the most part received favorable reviews for critics.
The song “Coyotes” starts off with a soft rift on the acoustic guitar, which persists throughout the entire song. The addition of an electric guitar in the choruses is the only thing preventing this from being a completely acoustic song. The acoustic sounds and electric guitar is accompanied by Isaac Brock’s voice, the band’s lead singer. His voice is much more subdued and gentle in this song, compared to “Lampshades on Fire”, making this song much more whimsical than their previous single released off of Strangers to Ourselves.
Brock sings about the impact humans are having on the environment with lines like “Mankind’s behavin’ like some serial killers / Giant ol’ monsters afraid of the sharks”. This is evident in their music video for the song, which can be found below. The video features an actual coyote wandering onto a train and riding through a city. The music video was also influenced by the true story of a coyote wandering onto a light rail in Portland in Oregon in 2002. Sadly other than a cute coyote this song does not provide much more. If you are looking for the next “Float On” or “The World at Large” you will not find it in this song. Another glimmer of hope can come from the sharp contrast between “Lampshades on Fire” and “Coyotes”. “Lampshades on Fire” has that signature Isaac Brock, upbeat Modest Mouse sound that a lot of their other stuff has. While “Coyotes” provides a different much more melancholy sound that is not commonly found on a Modest Mouse track. Hopefully the diversity of sound found within these two songs translates to Strangers to Ourselves. Either way this song is something to be excited about if not for the song itself, then for the potential for a great album.